Nuclear engineers are responsible for the safe running of nuclear power stations.
Salary range: £24,000 to £70,000
How to become a nuclear engineer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- a graduate training scheme
You can do a degree in a subject like:
- nuclear engineering
- chemical engineering
- mechanical engineering
- electrical engineering
Some employers will expect you to have a relevant postgraduate qualification.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and physics
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could get into the industry through a nuclear scientist or engineer degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
You may be able to start on a graduate training scheme, like Nuclear Graduates, run by nuclear industry employers.
You’ll normally need a degree in a science or engineering subject to apply for a place.
You may need to relocate for work, as many power stations are in remote areas.
You can find details about careers in the the nuclear industry through Cogent.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- maths knowledge
- knowledge of physics
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- thinking and reasoning skills
- design skills and knowledge
- analytical thinking skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass security checks
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- designing and building new plants and equipment
- monitoring and measuring radiation levels
- carrying out maintenance work
- making sure that the plant structure meets legal requirements
- being responsible for security and safety
- supervising power station technicians
- planning safe methods of nuclear waste disposal
You could work at a power station, in a laboratory, in an office or in a control room.
You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.
Career path and progression
You could move into research, or university teaching. You could also work freelance.